"Fishbath and Romance" Chandelier

"Fishbath and Romance" Chandelier

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Object Name: 
"Fishbath and Romance" Chandelier
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 96.6 cm, W: 77.5 cm
On Display
Credit Line: 
Anonymous Gift
Web Description: 
In 1989, Ginny Ruffner was invited to design a series of glass sculptures for the Vistosi Glassworks, located on the island of Murano near Venice. She was an unusual choice. Unlike other artists working in glass, Ruffner made painted and tangled flameworked sculptures (which are also on view in this gallery) that have nothing to do with Italian traditions. For the Vistosi designs, she says, she approached the project "like my public art commissions, where I respond to a situation." She created a site-specific vocabulary of images—the fish and crescent moon emblematic of Venice, and the columns referring to architecture. In this chandelier—the only one she designed for Vistosi—fish appear, along with hands that hold the lights. The hearts and dice are symbols of love and romance.
Anonymous Source
Ginny Ruffner 1/10
Engraved (-2) exterior of open edge
Primary Description: 
Polychrome transparent and opaque non-lead glass; blown, hot-worked, ground and polished edges; some gluing of metal parts. Multi-part hanging chandelier: extending from metal support loop is black sphere topped by a hand with flexed wrist (all hands white cased in colorless with pink mottling); ball is at upper end of long central white tube wrapped with thick transparent pink spiralling down to hollow yellow cone (yellow cased in colorless) pointing downward; hanging head downward from tip of cone is large blown fish of white cased in blue-green with white eyes/black pupils; emerging vertically from open end of cone are four solid hot-worked jumping fish with curved tails (two transparent cobalt, two transparent aquamarine), fish alternate between head-up and head-down positions; between fish are four evenly-spaced large transparent pale green tubular arms extending from interior of cone in "S" curve ending with horizontal hand bobeche (palm upward), upper half of each "S" curve decorated with three extending symmetrical pairs of ovoid leaves; short vertical lengths of white plastic "candle" fittings extend from each palm to hold flameshaped electric bulb; over low curve of each arm is unevenly draped narrow brass chain; two chains have blown hearts attached at each end (one red, one aquamarine--both cased in colorless), two other chains decorated on both ends with opaque white dice cube with black dots; inscribed in script on yellow cone, exterior of open edge: "Ginny Ruffner 1/10".
Viva Vetro! Glass Alive! Venice and America
Carnegie Museum of Art 2007-05-12 through 2007-09-16
Venetian Tradition
West End Gallery 1991-05 through 1991-05
Venice and American Studio Glass (2020) illustrated, p. 32 (fig. 70);
Viva Vetro! Glass Alive! Venice and America (2007) illustrated, p. 124, Plate 66; p. 119 (detail); BIB# 101488
Recent Important Acquisitions, 34 (1992) illustrated, pp. 150-151, #58; BIB# AI30154